a few questions/problems came up

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Cat Krumbles

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Context: While doing my homework, I encountered a few questions I didn't know how t solve, so I decided to send an email to my teacher, in the email, I want to ask 'a few questions/ problems came up while I was doing my prep over the weekend, I wonder if you would be free to discuss them today?' do I use questions or problems?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The first thing you need to pay attention to is forming proper sentences, instead of running everything together separated only by commas.

    You can use either questions or problems, depending on how you phrase it. But it would perhaps sound better to say “I came across a few questions/problems” rather than suggesting that they “came up”. Better still, you could describe them as “things I didn’t understand”.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... do I use questions or problems?
    Both are correct English, but their meanings are different. A question is something you ask, such as "In part (c), can we use the Navier-Stokes equation* even though we haven't studied it yet in this course?" A problem is a difficulty, such as "in part (c), I don't see how we can compare a Greek tragedy to a crocodile."

    Sometimes you might write a problem in the form of a question, such as "in part (c), can you please tell me how to compare a Greek tragedy to a crocodile?", but that kind of question is basically a request for help with the problem, not a real question by itself. If this were a real question its answer would be "yes, I can" or "no, I can't," neither of which is helpful.

    So, use "question" or problem" according to whether you have questions or problems. (There are different words for these in all the languages I know. There may be different words for them in Chinese also.)

    _________________________
    *There actually is such a thing, though in this post that doesn't matter.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Context: While doing my homework, I encountered a few questions I didn't know how t solve, so I decided to send an email to my teacher, in the email, I want to ask 'a few questions/ problems came up while I was doing my prep over the weekend, I wonder if you would be free to discuss them today?' do I use questions or problems?
    That scenario suggests to me that while you were doing the homework, you encountered a few problems, as a result which you now have some questions you want to ask.

    So as a shortened version of that, I would say "a few problems came up" because they're what you want to ask the teacher about (i.e. how to solve them). :)
     
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